What's in a Name

Have you ever wondered as I used to why some prayers seem to be answered quickly and some never seem to be answered at all? We’ve confessed the word, exercised our faith, gathered others to agree with us, and yet nothing seems to happen?

I was pondering that very question some years ago when the Lord spoke to me and told me to study the word “name” in the scripture. So I pulled out my well used Strong’s concordance and began an in-depth look at the word “name.”

What I found was fascinating! In every instance but one in the Old Covenant the word “name” means ‘character, honor and authority.” In every instance but one in the New Covenant “name” means ‘character and authority.”

I was shocked! You see, when the Bible states, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” in Matthew 18:20. What we’ve always assumed was not necessarily the truth! Our understanding was totally out of the cultural context of what Jesus was trying to communicate!

A better rendering of Matthew 18:20 would be, “For where two or three are gathered together in mycharacter, there am I in the midst of them.”

A light dawned in my heart and understanding! It was about Christ-like Character! It always has been, yet the church has always focused on the giftedness or oratorical ability of an individual rather than the character of the Lord being produced in each individual.

Look at John 14:14, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

How many times have we wielded the “name” of Jesus thinking that it was some type of

magic word that would instantly grant us whatever we wanted? How many times have we faltered in our faith because the use of His name didn’t seem to produce what we wanted it to?

Let’s read John 14:14 this way, “If you ask anything with Christ Like Character, I will do it.” Now that’s a paraphrase but it is accurate.

We could look at the many different scriptures that we’ve ‘used’ pertaining to His name in our Christian walk that, when understood in the light of it’s true meaning, takes on a whole new perspective and significance.

If we truly want to do the works that Jesus did, as He said we could according to John 14:12, then we need to begin to focus on what is the most basic of all Christian truths; we are to be conformed to His image and walk in His character. The greater works will never be accomplished in or through us without this most basic of understandings.


Bruce D Allen 2013 abidesinrest@msn.com